One and a half, really. Today I got my novel back from Margaret K. McElderry Books (A Division of Simon & Schuster, which is now "A Viacom Company"), after having written them a reminder letter last week--a sort of "you said it would be three months and now it's four; what's up with that?" letter. In their rejection was this truly uninformative sentence:
Unfortunately, though we wish it were otherwise, this does not seem to be something we can undertake for publication on our list at this time.
Blah. I also found out last week, in case you didn't read the addendum to "Another Non-Rejection" below, that Permafrost will not, in fact, be publishing my piece. Here's what they said when I e-mailed them to ask about it:
No, I'm sorry, we don't plan on publishing "Literacy"--I guess the only reward of being the runner-up is just that, "being the runner-up." A line for your vita, I guess. But best of luck placing the story elsewhere; I enjoyed it and I bet you will be able to find it a home.
Uh. Thanks. I guess. So I'm totally not going to withdraw it from the other contests I entered it into. I'm still waiting to hear back from Blooming Tree Press on the anthology that is supposedly going to contain my YA story "This Is Jane." I've sent them two follow-up e-mails ever since I got that one phone message. They never called back (to my knowledge) and they didn't leave a number, and they didn't answer either of my e-mails so far. I don't know if I'll have time to call before we leave for China on Tuesday, but I'll definitely see if a paper letter has more effect. I will also inform them of my absence, as it would be just my luck if they finally tried to get hold of me while I was out of the country.